August 2016 Field Visit – Galore Hill take two

August has seen the return of the sun (well, on and off), so I decided to take advantage of a mostly-sunny afternoon to make another attempt at visiting Galore Hill.

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You may recall that I attempted to visit Galore Hill in March this year, and failed to actually get there – it turns out it’s much easier to find if you drive down the right road.

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gate

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There be macropods in these woods.

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I decided to drive up to the summit of the hill, and check out the view. It’s always very colourful at this time of year, with the canola crops all in flower across the countryside.

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Then I climbed up this thing to get an even higher viewpoint.

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While I was up there I noticed a dark something off to one side, and was very excited to find it was a Swamp Wallaby (Wallabia bicolor).

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I see Swamp Wallabies infrequently, although they live across the region. They’re usually very shy and tend to flee at the first sight of a human (or the ones I’ve come across have, maybe it’s just me). I didn’t want to spook it, but I didn’t want to stay up the tower all day, so I decided to descend and see how close I could get before the wallaby scarpered. Either I was downwind and quiet enough to not spook it, or this wallaby is accustomed to people, because it was completely unfazed by me the entire time, and didn’t pay me the slightest attention.

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After a few minutes of watching and taking photos I decided to leave the wallaby to its lunch, and headed off in another direction, whereupon I found early spring flowers.

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Early Nancies (Wurmbea dioica)

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Native Buttercups (Ranunculus sp.). So shiny.

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Sundews (Drosera sp.). I love Sundews, I’m not sure why, but I do.

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I heard a twitter and looked up to see the following little red blob that flew off before I could get a good photo. I assume it was a Red-capped Robin (Petroica goodenovii).

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I also came across whoever this is:

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I saw a number of other birds as well, including what may have been a Stubble Quail (Coturnix pectoralis), but I didn’t manage to get any photos. The possible-quail did an amazing disappearing trick right in front of me, and I still can’t figure out how it managed to disappear so very thoroughly so quickly.

To make up for the lack of Stubble Quail photo, here’s a couple of pictures of one that randomly showed up in my backyard a few years ago. I’m not sure how it got there through the gauntlet of cats and dogs in neighboring yards (and roaming free), or where it went afterward, but I am now working on the theory that Stubble Quail can teleport.

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3 thoughts on “August 2016 Field Visit – Galore Hill take two

  1. A.M. Valenza September 19, 2016 / 12:08 am

    I’m finally commenting! I was a bit lazy, sorry, sorry! (Also, sometimes I’m bad at articulating what I want to say, which seems weird for a writer but writing characters is easier than blurting my own thoughts!)

    I totally read this when you first posted, though, and omg those VIEWS that you took pictures of are freakin’ GORGEOUS. The canola crops! The canola crops ahhhhh so PRETTY! (Sorry, I love shades of green and green-yellow, so that appealed immensely to me :p)

    Everything is so green. Actually, the one with the signposts pointing to Galore reminded me of what I saw driving out into the mid-west US when I was kid. Just take the signs and I’d be like, oh, that’s here? It’s cool how places that are so dissimilar still manage to have basic similarities (what with how fields and greenery and grows and stuff).

    Those wallabies aren’t aggressive at all, then? Besides basic animal aggression. On one hand, I’ve learned that Australia has some big common wildlife compared to where I live. But I’m just used to here being like, “Well, the bigger it is, the more aggressive.” Not necessarily more deadly, just more ornery.

    I loved the early nancies, those are some super pretty flowers right there. The purple ring against the white! Flowers are just awesome, though. I never appreciated them when I was younger, but now I’m all over their variety and how stunning they can be.

    Buttercups are some of my fave wildflowers and also my friends and I used to eat them. Don’t ask me if they’re actually edible or not. We just used to munch on them while we explored the woods.

    I’m not sure or not, but do the sundews – are the tips actually catching and holding dew? Because it looks like but, then again flowers can look like pretty much anything, so I wasn’t sure if it was a trick of the light or anything. If it does catch morning dew, that’s a pretty awesome mechanism right there!

    The ability of some birds to just vanish never fails to frustrate me. I have that problems with cardinals here. They’re flashy red and long when they want to be, but also can just VANISH. So I NEVER get a picture! *argh*

    Anyway, I loved this field trip! Thank you for posting!

    P.S. I really liked the picture of the bird with its back towards you. It just looks broody and moody, like it’s giving you the cold shoulder *giggles*

    Liked by 1 person

    • riverinawildlife September 19, 2016 / 10:16 pm

      No worries, you don’t need to apologise for not replying sooner. 🙂

      This winter has been So. Wet. First everything became all green, and now everything is underwater. I am seriously considering making September’s field trip just be driving around and taking photos of all the water everywhere. And in a few weeks it’ll be summer and it’ll be like: Boom. Dry.

      Australia doesn’t really have particularly aggressive wildlife, for the most part, most of the danger is from hugely potent venom lurking in things that are hard to see and easy to step on. Some species can be aggressive toward humans, but it depends largely on the situation and the individual animal involved. Things like cassowaries can disembowel a person or break bones with a defensive kick (and there are rumours that kangaroos can too, but I don’t know if that’s true), but they’re also perfectly happy to live alongside people peacefully, if they don’t feel threatened. I have certainly never heard of an aggressive wallaby, most wallabies I’m familiar with will turn and flee at the first sight of a human, with the exception of wallabies in captivity – it’s quite common to find kangaroos and wallabies, and even emus, kept in ‘free-range within the park’ conditions in zoos and other touristy places, and you can pat and hand-feed them. Wild animals for the most part will keep away from people, or just ignore them, rather than acting aggressively toward them. Except for magpies. Magpies take ‘the best defense is a strong offense’ very much to heart during spring (aka breeding season, aka now) and will actively chase people, mostly they just swoop and snap at you, but some go for blood and it’s always wise to keep your eyes covered.

      Regarding size – I don’t tend to think of Australia’s mammals as being ‘big’ (yes, I know I said that about the birds, shush). Kangaroos can get to around person-sized but are mostly smaller, and everything else is smaller than that. Compared to things like cattle, moose, big cats, bears etc I always think our mammals tend toward the small and docile end of the scale. I’m forever being startled when I find out how small a lot of mammals I’m familiar with from pictures actually are. For example, I spent my whole life thinking numbats were about the size of a medium-sized dog, and I only found out this year that they’re more the size of a kitten.

      I think a lot of flowers are actually edible, we’ve just moved away from doing so culturally. Plus a lot of flowers just don’t taste like much. I think we should eat more flowers, imagine how much more interesting a salad would be, visually at least, if you included a mix of different kinds of flowers.

      The sundews actually exude sticky drops, so they look like they’ve caught dew on them, but it’s actually generated by the plant. They’re carnivorous, and use the stickiness to catch and digest tiny insects. They’re super pretty in person.

      (Also yes, yes that bird was very much ignoring me 😛 )

      Liked by 1 person

      • A.M. Valenza September 22, 2016 / 10:54 pm

        Whoa, that sundew went in a direction I completely did not expect. Carnivorous! Wah! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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